AFCON 2023: Belmadi insists on Algeria playing in the heat

Algeria coach Djamel Belmadi has requested that the match time for its warm-up games for his team before leaving for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON 2023) be brought forward.

In order to effectively prepare the team for AFCON 2023, the Algerian FA had lined up two friendlies against Togo and Burundi. Belmadi wants their game against Burundi on 9 January brought forward so he and his team can experience a similar heatwave that they are likely to experience in Ivory Coast.

The Fennecs on Friday defeated Togo 3-0 in the first warmup game with goals from Islam Slimani and Ramy Bensebaini, with the latter scoring a brace and would look forward to another convincing display when they play Burundi, a game Belmadi now prefers to kick off at 4PM (GMT+1) instead of the earlier scheduled 9PM (GMT+1).

AFCON 2023 preparation: Heat to avoid cold showers

The communications manager of the Algerian FA, Aboud Salah Bey made this request known to the public, “In order to put his players in different climatic conditions for the first match against Togo, Belmadi asked his Burundian counterpart to bring forward the time of the second preparation match on Tuesday to 3PM (GMT+1) instead of 9PM (GMT+1) as initially scheduled,” he said.

He continued: “The aim of this change is to observe the behavior of the “Greens” in relation to the change in climatic conditions, especially against Burundi who are much more tougher than the Togolese.”

Coach Belmadi's request is coming off lessons learnt from the previous edition which took place in Cameroon where the 2019 winners crashed out in the first round and wants to prepare its troops as best as possible for the 34th edition of the tournament.

According to AFCON 2023 – Group D match schedule, Algeria will play its opening game against Angola at 9PM (GMT+1), It's second game will be played at 3PM (GMT+1) against Burkina Faso while it's final group game will see the Fennecs trade tackles with Mauritania at 9PM (GMT+1).

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.